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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Murrieta, CA / Corvallis, Oregon

    Default San Diego,Ca to Boise, Idaho through the Eastern Sierras

    Hi, Im planning a road trip from San Diego, CA to Boise, Idaho. The kicker is that it is during the winter. I like photography and was hoping to be able to shoot the eastern sierras. I am leaving December 26 from San Diego and will get to Idaho the 31st (with some planned stops and winter camping). I have a truck with good snow tires (Toyo open country tires), they are pretty much new. I am also planning on buying snow chains just as a precaution before I hit the road. My route starts in san diego then I would take the 395. I wanted to stop at Alabama Hills, Bristlecone pine forest, Mammoth lakes, June lake loop (just above mammoth), mono lake, travertine hot springs, Lake tahoe/reno, then I would take the 80 and 95 to Boise. I feel like my truck will be fine going into mammoth but Im not sure what condition the roads from mammoth to lake tahoe will be like. I would love some advice about whether or not this trip is doable, obviously you can't predict the weather but hearing others experiences would help because I've only explored the west side of these ranges. I am new to the forum and thanks for your help!

    here is a link to a map I made, hopefully it works.!16148962


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    A bit of warning: the visitor center at Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is only open in the summer. The road into the main area of the park may not be serviced in winter, either. So call Inyo National Forest ranger station before you leave on your trip, to get the latest on the road reports. The roads into the other areas you mention will probably be open, because of the ski areas and other winter sports, but the Bristlecone Pine Forest may not be.

    If you can't do the Bristlecone forest this trip, save it for a long weekend in the summer. It is well worth it, IMHO!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Note that in winter, there is only one way into and out of Mammoth, the northern part of the loop is not maintained and will most likely be closed, and the southern access may have chain controls. Also, the June Lake loop will probably be closed.

    If your truck is 4wd and all 4 tires are M+S rated, you probably won't have to put the chains on but you are required to carry them when chain controls are in effect.

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